EMC Corp. this week will lay the groundwork for its bid to take a stronger role in managing applications through its System Management ARTS Inc. acquisition when it launches its first application-oriented management offering.
The EMC Smarts division will introduce a new version of its Application Connectivity Monitor that can automatically discover TCP-based applications and monitor their availability. It is the first of several planned application management products that are aimed at bridging the gap between applications and the infrastructure those applications rely on to deliver business value.
ACM 2.0 is intended to help the network manager triage application performance problems across IT infrastructure elements by determining whether those problems are due to a failed host, an application process, a network device or another infrastructure component. The software, which leverages Smarts patented codebook correlation and its object model, scans TCP ports on servers to discover TCP-based applications, which can include those using application layer protocols such as HTTP, DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) and SMTP.
It addresses a problem for network managers who need to speed the isolation of application performance or availability issues and then use other tools to do the detailed analysis to diagnose the root cause, according to EMC officials.
"Network managers need to be more application-aware. As you move toward service-oriented architectures and Web services, the management changes pretty dramatically, and there isnt the tight coupling between the application and the infrastructure. Its more dynamic, and the network has more impact on the performance of those applications," said George Hamilton, an analyst at The Yankee Group, in Boston.
EMC, of Hopkinton, Mass., intends to address the analysis requirements in another planned offering, dubbed Application Insight, due early next year.
While the storage company has been relatively quiet with regard to how it planned to treat the Smarts acquisition since it closed early this year, the EMC Software Group is taking the codebook correlation and data model from Smarts network-management-focused products into new directions. It will do more than just use it to improve storage management.
"Theres no question in my mind that Smarts technology will be more widely applied within the EMC infrastructure management strategy. It did make some sense to be deployed for storage infrastructure for problem analytics and drill-down. With the growth of SAN [storage area network] and NAS [network-attached storage] networks, there was a fair amount that they could do there. But theres no question that EMC will leverage and apply the Smarts technology in other ways," said Rich Ptak, principal at Ptak, Noel & Associates, in Amherst, N.H.
ACM 2.0 is due by months end.